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Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has hired former President Trump’s White House political director, Brian Jack, to lead his own political operation, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The move to bring on Jack underscores McCarthy's strategy of keeping Trump and his orbit close as Republicans seek to retake the House majority in 2022 — and McCarthy achieves his personal goal of becoming speaker.

The backdrop: Jack is one of a small group that worked for Trump through his entire journey — from his 2016 campaign to his final flight on Air Force One.

  • McCarthy (R-Calif.) met Jack through Trump and sees him as an asset for fundraising and recruitment, as well as strategy.
  • Jack remains connected to Trump, who viewed him as his go-to guy for congressional elections during the last cycle.
  • Jack previously held top roles at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the Republican National Committee and has worked with several GOP campaigns.

What we're hearing: Talks about a potential job in McCarthy's office began in December, while Trump was still in office.

  • Jack formally started this month.
  • He was initially considered as a candidate to lead the National Republican Campaign Committee but ultimately opted to work directly for McCarthy.
  • Jack will work closely with NRCC staff, as has been the case with aides to past House Republican leaders.

What they’re saying: “I worked closely with Brian during his four years at The White House,” Richard Hudson, secretary of the GOP conference, told Axios.

  • “He served President Trump exceptionally well, knows what it takes to win Congressional races, and I’m excited he’s working with Leader Kevin McCarthy and our team that will Take Back the House.”

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
49 mins ago - World

Blockades and ballots: A wild day in the post-Brexit U.K.

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

British naval vessels dispatched to break a French blockade, Scottish nationalists attempting to break away from the U.K., and working class voters in the northeast breaking for the Conservatives after voting Labour for six decades.

Why it matters: That was just one day in the topsy turvy reality of post-Brexit Britain.

S.C. governor orders end to federal COVID-related unemployment benefits

Photo: Micah Green/Bloomberg via Getty Images

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) on Thursday ordered the termination of the state's participation in all federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs.

Driving the news: McMaster cited labor shortages, but some experts say it's the job climate and not unemployment benefits that is determining the pace at which people are returning to work.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Mixed response in Europe to Biden's vaccine patents bombshell

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Biden administration surprised the world last night by coming out in favor of waiving patents for coronavirus vaccines — but Europe is divided on the issue.

What they're saying: European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen said Brussels would be willing to discuss it; French President Emmanuel Macron said he backed the U.S. position, but a German government spokesman said the proposal would cause "severe complications" for vaccine production.